Marvel this week Marvel announced that a new Thor book will introduce the well loved character as a Woman, and the internet exploded with the predictable comments how about this is simply pandering to women.
My questions to those people are: And? What is the problem with pandering to women? What is it about comic books that mean that they are completely owned by men? Why is pandering so bad when it’s done to someone that isn’t you? For decades men have been the pandered, with sports constantly being shown on TV, magazines with women scantily clad on the cover, and a comic book industry which has confessed on only focussing on them. Now that men are being told they’re no longer the focus, they’re getting quite angry.
People keep reading this story under the delusion that old Thor is out and new Thor is a woman, and that the character has always been a woman, and we must accept this. Well I’m sorry to those people, but that’s not what was announced, because the old Thor is simply no longer worth of Mjölnir, and for all intents and purposes has been fired from the job. The next available candidate has stepped up and SHOCK HORROR this person is a woman.
I really hope that these people are never put in charge of hiring and firing in a company because they are exactly the type of people that will say “the last person to do this job was a guy, so we’ve got to have another guy to take his place,” completely ignoring all of the progress society has made in giving women equal chances in the work place (we’re not there yet though).
This is not just sticking boobs on a character, and I have to ask, why do people keep using that as an excuse to be outraged? What is it about the application of breasts makes people so angry? I thought guys were supposed to like that sort of thing (over-generalisation, I know), yet here they are complaining about them. They’re being pandered to with big boobs and they’re still not happy!
We can have other arguments. She’s white and blonde, of which there are many characters exactly like this, but I’m not going to shake my fists at Marvel just yet, not when the Ms Marvel, the story of a young, Pakistani teen is doing so well, and that I’m loving every minute of it. There’s a way to go in terms of diversity, but we shouldn’t knock one progression (+1 to female characters) because it doesn’t fill all the diversity criteria.